Inside Michael Schumacher’s heartbreaking marriage to Corinna Betsch

The news that Michael Schumacher is now no longer bed-bound or surviving on tubes has come as a welcome surprise to his many fans, five years after the horrific ski accident that ended his F1 career.

But the upturn in his health will be most welcomed by his beloved wife Corinna Betsch, who has been nursing him back to health ever since he received a severe head injury from crashing into a rock in December 2013.

The German racing champion had been skiing with his teenage son Mick Schumacher when he fell and hit his head hard, shattering the helmet he was wearing.

He was placed in a medically induced coma for months in an intensive care unit, and two years later doctors gave the sad update that Michael was still unable to talk or move by himself.

Horseriding champion Corinna decided to dedicate herself to his full-time care and rehabilitation, taking over his half-a-billion pound business empire to keep it going.

She and Michael have one of the longest marriages in the sport and showbiz world, having wed in 1995 in a beautiful ceremony in Germany.

Two years later, they welcomed their daughter Gina-Maria Schumacher, who takes after her mother as a talented horse rider.

In 1999, their son Mick arrived – and he now competes in formula racing, just like his dad used to do.

As well as running Michael’s businesses while he recuperated, Corinna has also overseen the rebuilding of the family’s multimillion-pound home in Switzerland, where the ex-driver has been staying since he came out of hospital.

It’s believed he’s looked after by a £50,000-a-week team of nursing staff in the main body of the house, which was being renovated before his accident for his father Rolf Schumacher.

Rolf and his partner Barbara Stahl now live in a converted house in the grounds of the Schumacher mansion so they can be close to Michael.

"When it became clear that the old Schumi perhaps never would return, Corinna had to accept her new life. She had to act," the German magazine Bunte reported in 2015.

"She took over the job, and the power, of her husband as an act of succession. Corinna underwent a remarkable transformation – from his wife to the clan chief, a lady who trained as a sales clerk to the manager of a multi-millions company."

She also took the decision to sell off Michael’s £25million private jet and their holiday home in Norway in 2015, having realised they were unlikely to ever use them again.

Corinna also considered selling the family’s ski chalet in the French resort of Meribel – near to where Michael’s horrific accident happened.

She’s dealt with the awful situation with aplomb, friends of Michael said, and in a letter sent to the composer Sascha Herchenbach called her husband a "fighter".

In the letter, Sascha told Bunte, Corinna thanked him for sending over a recording of his song Born To Fight, which he dedicated to Michael.

"I would like to sincerely thank you for your message and nice gift that will help us through this difficult time," she wrote back.

"It is good to receive so many kind wishes and other well-intentioned words – which is a great support for our family.

"We all know Michael is a fighter and will not give up."

Neither, it seems, will she.

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